House painting 101

Painting your house

What is it about autumn that makes so many people decide it’s a great time to paint the exterior of their homes? Maybe it’s the days that are still warm and sunny, but a little crisp, that make you start thinking about home and family gatherings. We’re not sure, but it seems every block we drive down features a home getting a color facelift.

They say that painting your home is one of the easiest ways to make a valuable change – without doing construction or adding on a room. We’re not sure how easy it is… we’re a proponent of hiring professional painters. But before you get to that point, first spend some time doing your homework and making some decisions about color.

According to the experts at Sherwin-Williams, as you consider colors for your home’s exterior, there are a few tips you should follow:

  1. Pay attention to the color schemes of the other homes in your neighborhood. Drive around and take notes – even better, take photos. Make note of color schemes you like. And make sure the colors you choose don’t clash with your close-by neighbors. Choose a color combo that blends with the neighborhood or stands out in a subtle, unobtrusive manner.
  2. Remember the landscaping. Don’t forget that trees and plants change color throughout the year. Flowers bloom and fade. Leaves are green and then shades of brown. Make sure your home’s color doesn’t blend in too much with the foliage around it.
  3. Use architectural details and window frames to add a pop of contrast color. Define your entryway with its own color, to give a welcoming presence.
  4. Don’t be afraid to venture beyond white or light colors. Traditionally, light tones and white were considered “safe.” Today, they can mean boring. The trend now is to explore a broader spectrum of color, to choose two or three variations of tone, and then add a contrast color for accents. Make a visit to your local paint store and see how many options are now available.
  5. Sample, sample, sample! Most paint companies offer small cans of paint colors so you can try them on small areas. Paint a 12” square on a wall of your home and then see how it looks at different times of day and with different light.
  6. Get buy-in from your significant other, spouse or other family members before you paint! No one wants to come home from work and find the entire house painted in his or her least favorite color. Look at magazines together and find house photos you both agree look beautiful. Use them as a guide when purchasing paint.

Changing your home’s paint colors is one of the most cost-effective changes you can make to your home. It’s also vital to ensuring your home’s value: chipping or peeling paint can let water get into your wood, which can cause structural (ie., expensive!) damage. Don’t wait for peeling paint. Consider painting your home every three to seven years if your siding is wood, and every 10 to 15 years if your siding is newer vinyl or other material.

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